Walsall midfielder insists there will be no Portsmouth hangover ahead of Sunderland clash

Walsall midfielder George Dobson believes his side have 'nothing to fear' against Sunderland this weekend.
Walsall midfielder George Dobson believes his side have 'nothing to fear' against Sunderland this weekend.
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Walsall midfielder George Dobson is relishing the prospect of facing Sunderland at the Stadium of Light and doesn't believe his side have anything to fear.

The Saddlers are fighting at the opposite end of the table to the Black Cats and are just two points above the relegation zone ahead of this week's fixture.

Walsall had won two of their last three games before Tuesday's 3-2 defeat by Portsmouth, yet midfielder George Dobson is confident his side can bounce back.

“We went into the Portsmouth game full of confidence, we had been on a good run – getting seven points from nine,” Dobson told Express & Star.

“And the important thing is that confidence has not been dented. For us now it’s all about making sure we don’t go on a poor run.

“It’s about how we react and how we bounce back and there is nothing better than going and playing at Sunderland in front of thousands of people."

This weekend's clash will mark the fourth meeting between Sunderland and Walsall this season, following their FA Cup encounters earlier in the campaign.

Sunderland are still yet to beat the Saddlers this term, following a 1-0 cup defeat at the Stadium of Light back in December.

It's a result which has given Walsall confidence ahead this weekend's clash.

“We are now going into every game knowing there is nothing to fear," added Dobson. “If we perform as we can we know we can beat anyone.

“We have played Sunderland three times this season and not lost yet. And we’re looking forward to going there and taking on a side that was in the Premier League not so long ago.”

Walsall manager Dean Keates is also looking forward to the contest and likes the idea of his team being a 'bogey side' for the Black Cats.

“It’ll be nice if we are their bogey side,” said Keates. “We’re going there and will give our absolute best to get a result.

“It’ll be an unbelievable atmosphere. As a club, as a group of players, there’s no pressure on us.

“The opportunity is there to go and play. All being well, we’ll give a great account of our football club and get something.”

Even so, Keates is under no illusions about the difficulty of the task, against a Sunderland side who haven't lost since December.

“Every match is different,” added Keates. “Just because we’ve done well previously against them, it doesn’t guarantee anything at the weekend.

“All it means is that we know the surroundings and what the players are going into it. it

“But they’re a League One club – and that’s what we are. It’s about whoever turns up on the day and wants it most.”